Category Archives: Google LatLong Blog

News and notes by the Google Earth and Maps team

Google for Brazil: Technology that serves people’s needs, wherever they may be

It's a constant challenge to ensure that technology works well for people with different needs around the world, especially where connectivity is limited and basic smartphones are the main gateway to the internet. Today, at our second annual Google for Brazil event in São Paulo, we shared updates on how we're making our products work better for people in Brazil—and elsewhere in the world. We also gave an update on our efforts to make the internet more inclusive, highlighting a new initiative in Brazil to empower women to succeed in a digital world.

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New soccer experience on Search

Given Brazil's passion for soccer, we couldn't think of a better place to kick off an enhanced experience for football fans on Search, just in time for the World Cup. For this year's tournament in Russia, fans everywhere will be treated to a new immersive experience that includes group tables, stats, trending players and a host of other features that let you follow matches in real time and see highlights on your phone. For more about all that we've prepared for soccer fans, check out our World Cup post.

World Cup Search on Google

Android Go coming to Brazil

As an open source platform, Android has helped democratize access to the internet in places like Brazil. But for more people to come online, they need affordable smartphones that offer a smooth experience when browsing the web and using apps. That's why we developed Android Go, a lighter version of our OS optimized for entry-level devices. Android Oreo (Go edition) is now coming to Brazil on new devices made by our partners Positivo, Multilaser and Alcatel—an important step in our efforts to give more people access to computing.
Android Go

Brazil elections on Search

2018 is an election year in Brazil, and we want to connect voters with useful and reliable information as they prepare to vote in October. In that spirit, we're planning features on Search that will allow Brazilians to stay up to speed on key dates, the candidates and other critical information about the election. We're also adding the option for presidential candidates to post statements directly on Google about where they stand on key issues. And on election day, you'll be able to keep track of the results on Search.


When the campaign kicks off in August, we'll roll out a Google Trends hub for Brazil that offers an overview of the race through the lens of Search. The hub will be a one-stop shop for data about search interest in candidates and their parties, the most searched questions and other related queries, all in real time.

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More local Actions on the Assistant

We launched the Google Assistant in Brazilian Portuguese less than a year ago, and Brazil is now among the top three countries in daily active users. Portuguese is also the second most popular language for Assistant usage on smartphones.


Brazilians already use the Assistant to send WhatsApp messages, play music on Spotify, and watch videos on YouTube or Netflix. Now we’re working with more than 30 local partners to bring more Actions to the Assistant. In the next few months, Brazilians will be able to order a pizza with iFood, book a table with Restorando, hail a ride with 99 and do much more by using nothing but their voice.


Enhancing Maps for Brazilians

A new feature on Maps will help Brazilians navigate a São Paulo law that restricts motorists from driving in designated parts of the city during peak traffic hours one day a week. All they need to do is give the last number of their license plate and Maps will provide customized directions to avoid restricted areas.


We’ve also more than doubled the number of Brazilian cities on Maps with real-time transit information, to 15 from six. The list now includes cities like Campinas, Caxias do Sul, Uberaba and Campina Grande.
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Art Selfie debuts in Brazil

Remember those fun selfies resembling famous artworks that went viral earlier this year? Well, now the Art Selfie is making its Latin American debut in Brazil. Brazilians can find an artistic match for their selfie in Google Arts & Culture's vast collection, which includes masterpieces from institutions such as São Paulo's Pinacoteca and Rio de Janeiro's Museu Nacional de Belas Artes. Give it a try on the Arts & Culture app.


Grow with Google

Grow with Google offers free training sessions, tools and events to help people grow their skills, career or business. We've taken Grow with Google to four cities in Brazil already, training 17,000 people, and plan to hit four more states by year-end.
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A Grow with Google session for 3,000 people in Brasilia in May

Technology can also play a key role in helping to reduce gender inequality. That’s the thinking behind Womenwill, which aims to create economic opportunities for women. We brought Womenwill to Brazil in March, and since then more than 2,500 women have undergone training in leadership, negotiation techniques, personal finance and digital marketing.


While that's a promising start, there is much more to do. Today we announced a Google.org grant of $1 million for Instituto Rede Mulher Empreendedora, a Brazilian nonprofit that promotes and supports entrepreneurship among women. The grant will help them train up to 135,000 women in Brazil over the next two years.


We hope that each of the announcements we made today will have an impact on people's lives in one way or another. And we remain committed to bringing the transformational power of technology to people everywhere.

Source: Google LatLong


Keep track of all the GOOAAALS with Google

To help you kick off your FIFA World Cup™ watch-a-thon, Google has everything you need to keep track of what’s happening on and off the pitch. Here’s how Google can help you enjoy your football fan experience this year:

Stay in the know with Search

During the FIFA World Cup, you’ll find a new experience for exploring group tables, stats and trending players so you can keep track of the tournament, right on Search. Within 30 minutes of the end of each game, you’ll find video recaps from select broadcasters featuring goals and highlights of major match moments.
World Cup Search on Google


For each match, you can tap to watch live or follow along with score updates on your phone. You’ll also find a detailed timeline with updates including in-game moments, live images, stats, tweets and more. 

World Cup Timeline on Search

An example of the timeline you'll see once this year's tournament begins.

To keep track of all the matches, even when you’re not searching, you can pin real-time scores on your Android phone screen from Search on mobile browsers or from the Android Google App. Find the match you’re looking for, tap and drag to pin the match anywhere on your screen.

World cup pinned match

An example of pinned matches you can create during the tournament.

You can also get in on the action before kick-off by diving into line-ups, news and winning probabilities, which will update once the match gets going. Local broadcasters and national teams will share the latest highlights and updates via Posts on Google.

If your country is competing in the tournament, keep an eye out for a Google Doodlefrom a local artist. Football fans in select countries will also have a chance to check out the Doodles, and they will all be available as they are unveiled at google.com/doodles.

Assistant with the assist

Keep your eyes on the match and ask your Google Assistant for updates on all the World Cup action. If you want to find out who won the match between Germany and Mexico, which players have scored the most goals in this year’s quest for the Golden Boot, or how many FIFA World Cups Brazil has won, just say “Hey Google” and ask away! You’ll also get fun BTW (by the way) stats for some of your questions, so keep your ears open.

Follow along with Google News

Stay on the ball with all the FIFA World Cup action as it happens with a dedicated World Cup Tracker on your Google News app on Android.  The tracker will include a special “spotlight” feature that provides an easy way to visualize live scores, highlights, results, and schedules all in one place.

Google news world cup

Fans can quickly check on how their favorite teams are performing throughout the tournament and find video highlights to watch on YouTube.

The feature will be available for users in the U.S., Germany, France, U.K., Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia.

Track the trends

If you want to know which moments popped on the pitch and where fans are teeming with anticipation, head to our Google Trends page for an interactive, real-time view of FIFA World Cup searches. We will have special pages in different languages, in the U.S., FranceGermanyU.K.Brazil and many more. Our data will include real-time rankings of the world’s players based on search interest and embeddable maps and charts where you can relive each game through Search, as soon as it happens.

Google Trends World Cup GIF

Highlights, behind-the-scenes and more from YouTube

Miss a game? Can’t get enough of the action? On YouTube globally, you can catch up on your favorite FIFA World Cup moments with select video highlights from official FIFA broadcasters in more than 80 countries around the world, including from Fox and Telemundo in the U.S., the BBC in the U.K., ARD Sportschau in Germany, NHK in Japan, Kwese in Nigeria and across Africa, Televisa in Mexico, Latina Televisión in Peru, and more. In the U.S., you’ll be able to watch all games live in markets where YouTube TV is available, with the additional option of using the YouTube TV cloud DVR feature to record matches.  For more about how to tune in with YouTube, check out our YouTube blog.

Find places to watch the games on Google Maps

Starting June 14, look out for the “good for watching sports” highlight on business listings in Google Search and Maps to find your best local places to watch the games. For a little inspiration before you put on your jersey and head out the door, take a closer look at two FIFA World Cup stadiums, Otkrytye Arena and St. Petersburg Stadium, on Street View.  

“So here’s the Play...”

Head to the Google Play Store and check out these apps and games to follow your team to victory — whether you want to watch or listen to the matches, follow the scores or even hone your own soccer skills:

  • 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Official App: A must-have for the tournament, featuring live scores and play highlights, plus lineups, standings, and more.

  • Panini Sticker Album: Whether you traded player stickers on the playground or you’re new to the superfan game, you’ll have a blast with this digital sticker album. Collect stickers from all 32 teams competing in this year’s tournament.

  • Onefootball Live Soccer Scores: A hub for die-hard soccer fans, Onefootball is an excellent source for schedules, live scores, player transfer rumors, and more.

  • FIFA Soccer: FIFA World Cup™: With both soccer play and team management, FIFA’s great for gamers seeking a comprehensive soccer experience

  • Top Eleven 2018 Be a Soccer Manager: Get into the nitty-gritty of club management with Top Eleven as you focus instead on managing virtually every other aspect of your burgeoning football club.


Now let’s start the countdown to kick-off!

Source: Google LatLong


Help fight the opioid epidemic this National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

We're deeply concerned by the opioid crisis that has impacted families in every corner of the United States. We started by thinking about how to bring Google’s technical expertise to help families combat the epidemic.

Research by the federal government has shown that prescription drug abuse is a large driver of opioid addiction, and that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family or friends, often from a home medicine cabinet. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has found that one way that Americans can help prevent drug abuse and addiction is to properly dispose of unneeded or expired prescription drugs. Yet many people aren’t aware of, or can’t easily find, prescription drug disposal programs in their communities.

Using Google Maps API, our team worked with the DEA to create a locator tool for the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, April 28. The locator tool can help anyone find a place near them to safely dispose of leftover prescription medications. Click on the image below to access the locator, and enter an address or zip code to find nearby Take Back Day events this Saturday and help fight the opioid epidemic.

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Longer term, we’re working with the DEA and state governments like Iowa, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Michigan to gather data on year-round take back options for future Google Maps integration.

In addition to making it easier to find take back locations, we’re also proud to support non-profit organizations on the frontlines of this crisis. We’ve worked with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids since 2015 to help parents searching online for support connect to the Partnership’s  Parent Helpline. This service provides free counseling and advice to parents who need help addressing the many challenges of a child’s substance use. Today, we’re announcing $750,000 in matching gifts and other grants from Google.org to help expand the Parent Helpline and get even more families the support and help they need.

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We’re also committed to ensuring that the public understands the danger of opioid abuse and the resources available for those who need help, by making useful information about opioid addiction and prescription drugs available in Google Search.

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There are no easy answers to a challenge as large as the opioid crisis, but we’re committed to doing our part to ensure that people in every corner of the country have access to the resources they need to address this urgent public health emergency.

Source: Google LatLong


Where’s Waldo? Find him in Google Maps

Hello, friends!

My name is Waldo. I love to travel around the globe—it’s a whole world of fun.

I’m always on the lookout for fantastic new places to explore. My last adventure started in sun-sational Mountain View, CA where I visited the terrific team at Google, including Google Maps product managers Max Greenwald and Shreena Thakore. Wow!

By the way, I’m not traveling on my own. Wherever I go, my trusty friends Wenda, Woof, Wizard Whitebeard, and even that pesky Odlaw go as well. You can come, too—all you have to do is find me!

Starting today, you can use Google Maps to join in my amazing adventures for April Fools this week. Are you prepared for a perplexing pursuit? I’ve shared my location with you on Android, iOS and desktop (rolling out now). To start the search, simply update your app or visit google.com/maps on desktop. Then press play when you see me waving at you from the side of your screen. You can even ask the Google Assistant on your phone, Chromebook or Home device, “Hey Google, Where’s Waldo?” to start.

Waldo Maps GIF

The fun doesn’t stop there. Once you spot me, you’ll be transported to places all around the world, where you can search for me over and over again. Incredible!

You can win wonderful and wacky badges throughout your journey by finding me and my friends. Remember, there’s Woof (but all you can see his is tail), Wenda, Wizard Whitebeard, and Odlaw.

Ready to join me on my travels? If you find me, take a screenshot and share it with @GoogleMaps on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #WaldoMaps. Let the journey begin!

Source: Google LatLong


#LetsGuide: Someone out there needs a guide like you

There are at least seven kinds of Local Guides who share their knowledge on Google Maps. And there are many more reasons that people in the Local Guides community help others discover the right places in cities around the world. Our #LetsGuide campaign shows what our Local Guides are into, from the dog parks they photograph to every coffee shop they obsessively review. Even if you’re not a Local Guide (and you can be one, too), you can put topics that matter to you on the Map.

One of the best ways? Make lists.

Just check out this Barcelonian with a “furry friend” who keeps an eye out for pet-friendly places. Or there are lists like Iconic Theatres in Buenos Aires, Places to Watch Cricket in Delhi, and this irresistible round-up of Tacos de Carnitas in Mexico City. Here are five tips for creating a Google Maps list that you’ll want the world to see:

  1. Give your list a clear title, so people know what it’s about. Feel free to add a little flair: “Jazz Clubs” are fun, but what about “Jazz Clubs with the Best Sax Solos in Lisbon”? 
  2. Say more about your list in the “Description” to let your personality shine through. For example: “Check out these spots in Barcelona if you’re a backpacker on a budget.” And don’t forget to add #LetsGuide!
  3. Include at least five local places that fit your theme.
  4. Use the Comments field (on desktop and Android) to add details like your favorite item on the menu or a can’t-miss exhibit.
  5. Make the list public by going to Sharing options, and post it on social with #LetsGuide
For first-timers, there are two ways to get started. You can either search for a place you want to put on your the list, open it, and tap "SAVE." Or start with your title, by going to the Google Maps menu, tapping "Your places," then "SAVED," and the + sign at the bottom right of your screen.
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We’ll be featuring our favorite lists on our Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ pages, so make sure to use #LetsGuide when you share your lists on social and we might feature yours. Need a little inspiration to get started? Check out our #LetsGuide wheel for some ideas of the types of people you can help.

Source: Google LatLong


Introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation

Google Maps was built to help people navigate and explore the world, providing  directions, worldwide, to people traveling by car, bicycle or on foot. But in city centers, buses and trains are often the best way to get around, which presents a challenge for people who use wheelchairs or with other mobility needs. Information about which stations and routes are wheelchair friendly isn’t always readily available or easy to find. To make public transit work for everyone, today we’re introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation to make getting around easier for those with mobility needs.

Adam, Lucy, Omari and Meridyth shared their experience using public transportation.

To access the “wheelchair accessible” routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps. Tap “Directions” then select the public transportation icon. Then tap “Options” and under the Routes section, you’ll find “wheelchair accessible” as a new route type. When you select this option, Google Maps will show you a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration—for example, whether a transit station has accessible stops, platforms, entrances and exits.  Starting today, this feature is rolling out in major metropolitan transit centers around the world, starting with London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney. We're looking forward to working with additional transit agencies in the coming months to bring more wheelchair accessible routes to Google Maps.

Access

In addition to making public transportation more accessible, people around the world have been helping us add accessibility information to Google Maps. Last September, Local Guides from around the world gathered at 200 global meet-ups to answer accessibility questions—like whether a place has a step-free entrance or an accessible restroom—for more than 12 million places. Additionally, we’ve been busy capturing and updatingStreet View imagery of transit stations and city centers so people can preview a place or transit station ahead of time.

 

We built this feature to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs, but accessible routes are also helpful if you’re on crutches or pushing a stroller. With the help of transit agencies around the globe and people like you who contribute local knowledge, we’re making progress toward a more accessible world for everyone.

Source: Google LatLong


Now on iOS: one-tap access to real-time commute info and places around you

Whether we like it or not, sometimes life just flies by. And in the moment, every minute counts. Just one minute can be the difference between catching the last train or walking home in the rain. Or getting to that new restaurant in time to snag the last table. Last year we updated Google Maps for Android to provide access to helpful everyday info–in real time–at the bottom of the home screen. Now we’ve rolled out that same useful update to Google Maps for iOS as well.


Just swipe up and you’ll see three tabs–the explore tab, driving tab and transit tab–that will help you find a nearby restaurant, beat traffic, or catch the next bus. No matter what iOS device you’re using, Google Maps can get you where you’re going and help you explore the world around you.

Source: Google LatLong


Meet the couple that guides together


Local Guides come from all over the world, and they form a community of people who share their knowledge on Google Maps—everything from photos and reviews of local restaurants to accessibility information.

And for one long-distance couple, the Local Guides community helped bridge the miles between Malaysia and Bangladesh. Sumaiya Zafrin Chowdhury and Pavel Sawar got married in 2013 and became Local Guides in 2015. Nine months ago, Pavel moved to Malaysia to study information technology, and Sumaiya stayed in Bangladesh to pursue her career as an entrepreneur, community leader and social worker.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re spotlighting this Local Guides love story. We spoke to Sumaiya and Pavel about how they enjoy the community together, and how Local Guides helps them stay connected while they’re apart.

Tell us where it all began: how did you meet?

Pavel: I first saw Sumaiya at a social work event in 2012…first look, fell in love. One day I went to visit a slum, and saw her there serving underprivileged people. I am fascinated by her work.

You’ve been apart for nine months. How do you make a long-distance relationship work?

Sumaiya: I went to Malaysia twice and we had great fun together. We discovered many places. We try to meet every three months. We manage our relationship through social media, especially via video call and chatting through Google Hangouts. We share songs and pictures also.

When you’re in the same place, what are your favorite things to do together?

Pavel:Sumaiya and I love to travel very much. As Local Guides, we also love to arrange meet-ups together and do social work and community activities.

So you connect over Local Guides together?

Sumaiya:Yes, we use Local Guides community and Maps to plan activities and date nights. Sometimes, we celebrate our special days through mapping. We plan to visit new places and compare our points. Mapping and meet-ups are our favorite part.

Pavel: Every day we discuss Local Guides. When Sumaiya arranges a meet-up, I try to help her. When I arrange one Sumaiya helps me lot. We discuss our contributions, photo views, quality reviews, etc. Local Guides helps us to spend more time together. Local Guides makes our relationship closer.

Why did you both decide to join Local Guides?

Pavel:Personally I love traveling, taking photos, and eating at different restaurants. As a traveler and explorer, I use Google Maps almost every day. I love to discover new places and I love to take photos. With Local Guides, I can help any other travelers also. I feel I am helping people in my community. Local Guides are like my family. It’s now part of my life.

Sumaiya: Pavel introduced me to Local Guides back in 2015. I joined in March 2015 because I love technology, traveling and photography. With Local Guides, I can do something positive for my society; that's why I was interested to join.

We recently did a post about seven kinds of Local Guides. Which ones do you identify with?

Pavel: The Visualist and the Trailblazer.

Sumaiya: I identify as a Fact Hunter because I want all to know real information about a place…and Trailblazer because I love to discover and add new places.

For those that are new to Local Guides, what advice do you have for someone just getting started?

Pavel: First, spend some quality time on Local Guides Connect. See how others in the community are doing. Arrange meet-ups. Please contribute on Local Guides to be a good citizen. Don’t focus on points.

Sumaiya:Upload proper pictures in proper places. Post useful and informative reviews that one can easily understand. Do meet-ups so that people can know about this community. And for the people of my own country, I want to advise them: please contribute more, add new places, and do your best reviews so that tourists can understand that our country is very beautiful.

What do you appreciate most about each other?

Sumaiya: Pavel is very punctual. This is the part of his character I like the most. He’s also a very trustworthy and hard-working person. He is very caring…he always supports me and appreciates my work.

Pavel: I can’t appreciate Sumaiya in a single sentence. Sumaiya is not only a good wife, she is also a good mentor for me. She gives support to me for my every good work. Without her I am nothing.

To discover a few beautiful (and unusual) places this Valentine's Day, check out these lists of romantic restaurants around the world, and film locations for famous love stories.

Source: Google LatLong


Seven kinds of Local Guides you might spot on Google Maps

What kind are you?

Satellites are famously effective for mapping, but they don’t take photos of must-have breakfast sandwiches, update hours of operation or tell families when places are wheelchair accessible. That’s Local Guides territory. Local Guides are people who share information on Google Maps to help others discover where to go—and there are more than 60 million of them in our global community, with the most prolific contributors hailing from the United States, India and Brazil. They guide worldwide users each day, rack up millions of views, support small businesses and literally put important, sometimes vital, information on the map for others to use.

Anyone can become a Local Guide—and once you do, you'll become part of a dynamic community. Each contributor is different, with specific passions and ways of sharing. Here are seven inspiring specialists we’ve spotted, with tips on how to do what they do.

1. The visualist

Local Guides love taking photos—in fact, they shared more than 300 million of them on Google Maps last year. If you’re a visualist, it’s your favorite way to contribute.

Loves: Seeking photogenic spots, finding the beauty in everyday places, making the most of golden hour.

Tip: You can share your shots of places right from Google Photos. Just tap the share icon on Android and select Add to Maps. Then select or update the location before you post it.

The Visualist.jpg

2. The fact hunter

In many parts of the world, essential information like where to find an ATM or a clinic may be hard to come by. Fact hunters uncover these details to share with others on Google Maps.

Loves: Accurate listings on Google Maps, adding missing info for small businesses, moving location pins so people can find places.

Tip: On Google Maps for mobile, go to Your contributions in the menu and tap Uncover missing info to see which places need your expertise.

The Fact Hunter.jpg

3. The trailblazer

If a friend has ever asked you for the hottest new restaurant in town, you might be a trailblazer. These Local Guides have the pulse of their cities and love being the first to try a new place.

Loves: Adding the first review or photo to a place, putting unlisted places on the map.

Tip: Check out restaurants and local shops opening this year so you can add their first photos and get those views.

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4. The sage

If a review has ever helped you choose whether to stay by the sea or by the bay, you can thank a sage. No matter where they go, these Local Guides write about all the inside tips, from the best exhibits to visit to the best instructors to take at a fitness studio.

Loves: Dropping knowledge and tips in reviews, answering yes/no questions about places that pop up on your screen, responding to others via the new Questions & answers feature that shows up on Google Maps for Android.

Tip: Turn on your Location History to easily review all the places you’ve been, and make lists of your favorites.

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5. The multimedia guru

Equipped with plenty of battery packs, this Local Guide helps you see a place from every angle with 360 photos and video contributions like visual tours and on-camera reviews. 

Loves: Adding 360 photos and videos of places, going to great lengths for the perfect shot.

Tip: If you take a video on your phone, you can add up to 30 seconds of it to a place the same way you’d add a photo to a place on Google Maps.

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6. The connector

This Local Guide’s contributions go beyond Google Maps. From hosting meet-ups with other community members to chiming in on Connect (the forum for Local Guides), the connector is a friendly face for newbies and gurus alike. 

Loves: Hosting meet-ups, making lists about places to go and sharing them with friends, liking other people’s reviews.

Tip: Find out if a Local Guides meet-up is happening near you.

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7. The advocate

Local Guides champion many causes, from helping small businesses to making it easier for wheelchair users to get around. The advocate keeps a cause top-of-mind while they share info, like whether a place has a wheelchair ramp.

Loves: Doing good in the world for locals and visitors alike, this handy accessibility guide for sharing helpful info, watching Local Heroes videos on Local Guides’ YouTube channel.

Tip: When you mark something as wheelchair-accessible, it helps families with strollers, too.

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Which kind of Local Guide are you? However you want to contribute, check out your Local Guides status and places that need your knowledge by visiting Your contributions in the Google Maps menu. The more you share, the higher levels you reach as you earn points for each review, photo, and bit of info you add on Google Maps.

Source: Google LatLong


The making of “A Ride to Remember,” a film about BikeAround

Editor’s Note: Orlando von Einsiedel is the director of the Oscar-winning Netflix short documentary, “The White Helmets.” His first feature, “Virunga,” won more than 50 international awards including an EMMY, a Peabody, a Grierson and a duPont-Columbia Award for outstanding journalism. Last year, we had the opportunity to work with Orlando on a short film about Laila and Bengt Ivarsson. Bengt was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is testing an experimental technology that triggers memory using Google Maps. Orlando’s documentary is a powerful account of the couple and their experiences.


Like many people, I’ve experienced the sadness of seeing an older relative losing their memory. It's a strange and painful experience, to see someone you know and love become confused and disorientated—to see them lose their grasp on the world.


It makes you realize how our memories provide us with much of the context and structure for who we are today. The interactions we have with friends and family aren’t static, isolated in time and place. They are ever evolving, informed by what has happened in our shared and personal histories. To lose the context for those interactions must be terrifying.


That’s why I was excited to hear about the BikeAround project—which pairs a stationary bike with Google Street View to give patients a virtual visit to a place from their past—and the way it helps spark memories in people suffering from dementia.


I first worked with Google on the Moon Shot film in 2016. Then earlier this year they came to me with an idea to tell the story about the developing BikeAround technology and how it’s affecting individuals who suffer from dementia. Google released a short version of the film in September, and you can watch the full version now.
BikeAround

It's one thing to be shown a photo and to remember the place. It's quite another to feel that you are visiting a location, and to have that experience trigger memories that you thought had gone. But this is indeed what BikeAround does. We saw numerous people using the device, and each of them was able to travel to a time and place that they clearly hadn't visited for a long while. Just as importantly, it also allowed these men and women to take control. The elderly, and those with dementia, often lose autonomy and become isolated. But with BikeAround, they were not only free to explore the world—they were also in charge of the journey. They could revisit places they had been to decades before. They were able to take their husband or wife to the church where they were married. And they could show their grandchildren the places of their youth.


Bengt and Laila Ivarsson were so generous in candidly sharing their lives with us, and it was this experience that made working on this project so special. Their love and support for one another in the face of growing difficulty is something that has really stayed with me, and to see the memories BikeAround triggered for Bengt was incredibly moving. I hope you find the Ivarssons’ story as enriching to watch as it was for us to film.

Source: Google LatLong